Maintaining a healthy mouth requires a consistent routine and a little bit of work, especially if you’re a woman. Inevitable hormone fluctuations in females put them at greater risk of developing dental issues and diseases particularly during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. While a surplus or deficit of hormones makes natural changes in the body, they can also detrimentally affect oral health.
When is a Woman’s Oral Health at Risk?
Changes in hormone production can affect oral health during periods of:
The hormones released during menstruation can cause several dental complications in some women. Issues include:
- Oral Abrasions: canker sores and oral blisters are more common during menstruation. If sores become irritated, infected, or swollen you should visit your dentist.
- Gum Sensitivity: some women experience heightened gum sensitivity during menstruation and even inflammation and bleeding of the gums. If you experience these symptoms consider using a gentle toothbrush for sensitive teeth and take extra care when brushing to avoid excessive bleeding.
Hormone levels are constantly fluctuating during pregnancy causing some minor dental issues to become more significant. These issues include:
- Pregnancy Gingivitis: increases in progesterone levels can aid in bacteria growth associated with gingivitis. It is especially important to practice good oral hygiene habits during pregnancy to prevent gingivitis.
- Weakened Enamel: morning sickness can lead to weakened enamel as stomach acid from vomiting wears away the teeth. Tooth erosion is not pleasant and a worn-out enamel can lead to dull and yellowed looking teeth.
It is important to visit your dentist during pregnancy for preventative treatment and cleanings to avoid detrimental damage from these issues.
Using birth control pills can have the same effects on oral health as pregnancy. The unnatural release of hormones can also cause gingivitis. If you are using oral contraceptives be sure to take extra care of your teeth and visit your dentist for routine cleanings to ensure your oral hygiene is maintained.
Menopausal women suffer from a variety of hormone-induced symptoms, but oftentimes forget about the effects menopause can have on their oral health. Common symptoms include:
- BMS or Burning Mouth Sensation
- Dryness of the mouth
- Gum Recession
- Bone Loss: sometimes loss of bone in the jaw occurs which can affect candidacy for dental implants and decrease overall functionality of the mouth
- Tooth Loss: menopausal and post-menopausal women are more at risk of tooth loss because of weakened gums and jaw bones.
For more information about female dental care or to receive treatment for any oral conditions book your appointment with Dr Rodney Raanan today.